He tried to buy a Tesla with counterfeit cash — then stole it instead, NC sheriff says

·2 min read

A 26-year-old man walked away with minor injuries on Wednesday after deputies said he crashed a stolen Tesla and jumped off a highway overpass in an attempt to evade law enforcement.

Cortavious Rey-Ray Johnson surrendered to deputies with the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina after declining to receive medical treatment. He appeared in his booking photo with a large bandage on the left side of his face.

Johnson, who is from Danville, Virginia, tried to buy a black 2018 Tesla Model 3 from a man in High Point with counterfeit cash earlier that day and stole it instead, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.

Rockingham County, which runs adjacent to the Virginia border, is about 40 miles north of High Point. Danville sits on the other side of the state line.

The sale went south in neighboring Guilford County, where deputies saw Johnson heading north in the stolen Tesla on U.S. 29 into Rockingham County before they lost site of him, the sheriff said. Rockingham County deputies picked up the search around 9 p.m.

According to the release, deputies spotted the Tesla near Reidsville traveling “at a very high rate of speed,” and a chase ensued.

“The vehicle continued to flee from deputies at a high rate of speed and exited onto Mayfield Rd. in Ruffin, where it crashed into a guardrail,” the sheriff’s office said.

The driver, later identified as Johnson, was the only person in the car. He reportedly took off on foot after the crash.

Deputies said Johnson jumped from the off-ramp bridge onto the U.S. 29 bypass below before surrendering.

“I am very proud of my deputies for arresting this fleeing theft suspect from High Point,” Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page said. “I learned last night that those ‘Teslas’ can travel very fast, and Mr. Johnson learned that no matter how fast you flee, you can’t outrun law enforcement’s radios.”

Johnson was charged with resisting, obstructing and delaying arrest in Rockingham County. High Point police also charged him with larceny of a motor vehicle, obtaining property by false pretenses, uttering a forged instrument and possession of counterfeit currency.

He was taken to the Rockingham County detention center, where his bond was set at $105,000.

He told Louisiana police a Tesla hit him. The on-board camera tells a different story

Drunk woman tries to get her Tesla to drive her home, Oregon cops say. It ended badly

Man seen smiling in backseat of self-driving Tesla is now arrested, California cops say

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting